Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Illinois Chief Justice Anne Burke

Today’s Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois Chief Justice Anne M. Burke has announced her retirement.

To the active and energetic mind, to the profound intellect, to the ever-restless curiosity, to the lifelong seeker after justice, the ease and indolence of retirement can often be harder to bear than continued labor in one’s metier.

Illinois Chief Justice Anne M. Burke will have no problems in this regard.

Although former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan may have wished that Illinois had a palace, its absence was no bar to the creation of his own palace clique of sycophants, not-so-brave adventurers, lobbyists, hangers-on, lackeys and lickspittles. And of this Madigan camarilla C.J. Burke was certainly the most important figure. Madigan had a live human wiretap into the highest, most important and most sensitive judicial deliberations in the state.

Madigan opposed the independent redistricting referendum, which came before the Illinois Supreme Court in 2016. Burke ensured that this measure, which favored voters’ rights and democracy in Illinois, was a non-starter. Any act or measure disfavored by Madigan that came before Burke’s Supreme Court would be condemned. In all matters Burke carried out Madigan’s will to the best of her ability.

Madigan, ever bashful, continually disclaimed having any influence or power over any one or any thing in Springfield, and he affected to be no more than a simple state rep and ward committeeman. But if he ever expressed his opinion on any issue, or, even less, granted or withheld his wink or nod, none could doubt what the final result would be. We miss Madigan’s ostentatious pretenses of powerlessness, humility, meekness and modesty. Well, at least we will until his criminal trial begins.

Then Commonwealth Edison’s Bribery Department (see July 20, 2020 Deferred Prosecution Agreement) offered its payroll to Madigan as a patronage machine to supply the place of Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department. The influence of Exelon in the Illinois General Assembly became paramount, and the interests of and protections for Illinois ratepayers concomitantly declined. Chief Justice Burke ensured that as far as Exelon’s bespoke laws protecting its revenues were concerned, constitutionality was nothing more than a dangerous luxury. With Madigan’s wink and under Burke’s watchful eye, Illinois legislation became Chris Crane’s own pull-toy. Sadly, Exelon must now do without either Mike Madigan or Anne Burke. Crane must know how Napoleon felt when he bade farewell to his Imperial Guard before setting sail for Elba.

Read Full Post »

Ex-Speaker Mike Madigan, Illinois’ Capo di tutti capi

Sometimes events in real life bear odd similarities to events portrayed in movies.

That thought occurred to me last week after reading that the actor Ray Liotta died at age 67 while filming a movie on location. Since I always liked his movies, I decided to watch a few YouTube clips from the movie Goodfellas, a film set in late 1970’s New York. In that film, Liotta played the character of Henry Hill, a young half-Irish, half-Italian guy whose biggest ambition is to be a “made man” in one of the New York mafia crime families. Robert DeNiro also stars in the movie as Hill’s buddy in crime and fellow made man wannabee. But what drew my attention was the film clip depicting the Goodfellas’ Christmas party because it teaches a lesson that the now-indicted ex-Speaker Mike Madigan should have known as the boss of his own state government crime family.

One of the off screen events in Goodfellas is modeled on an actual crime that occurred in December 1978. The DeNiro and Liotta characters and their crew rob the Lufthansa cargo terminal at JFK Airport and get away with $6,000,000 in cash. After they divide the spoils, Robert DeNiro’s character warns the robbery crew not to start spending the money because the FBI will be looking for clues like that to find out who pulled off this heist.

At the gang’s Christmas party at some bar, one of the gang members arrives and proudly shows off his brand-new pink Cadillac. Then another one arrives and shows off the $20,000 white mink coat he just bought for his wife. DeNiro’s character goes berserk, berating his co-gangsters for doing exactly what he told them not to do: buying expensive things and then flaunting them, drawing unwanted FBI attention to them so soon after the Lufthansa heist.

Obviously the FBI agents would ask themselves: “Where’s all this money coming from?”

Mike Madigan should have gone to school on Goodfellas. Madigan was the capo di tutti capi (boss of all the bosses) in the State of Illinois, Cook County and Chicago governments. He was the one who decided what did or didn’t happen in the state. But in any public comments Madigan always played it like the dwarf Bashful from Disney’s Snow White, disavowing any control over anything.

Madigan wanted, and still wants, to keep everything secret. He always tried to keep his fingernails clean by avoiding things like email or texting that could be linked back to him. Like Osama bin Laden, who let others carry his messages out to his far-flung terrorist cells, Madigan used members of his inner circle, like Michael McClain, to convey his orders to his acolytes in Springfield and Chicago. If anybody were to get whacked, it would be a Madigan runner like McClain, not Madigan himself.

In early 2018, Madigan had to fire Kevin Quinn, one of his political aides, after Quinn sexually harassed a woman who also worked in Madigan’s political organization. After he fired Quinn, though, Madigan decided to help Quinn financially. He ordered his harem of lobbyists to start making monthly payments to Quinn, who was having trouble landing a job. The lobbyists, ever eager to display their spaniel-like devotion to Madigan, complied.

Now, if DeNiro’s character in Goodfellas had been in the room when Madigan decided to get money to Quinn, he would have berated him for making the same stupid mistake that his half-witted gang members made: spending money in a way that would likely draw FBI attention. Just as in Goodfellas, the FBI was watching Madigan and his henchmen. The FBI saw Quinn get fired. Then the FBI saw Quinn start to get monthly payments even though he didn’t have a job. So the FBI agents tracking Madigan must have asked themselves the same question that their predecessors asked themselves about Henry Hill’s gang after the Lufthansa heist four decades earlier: “Where’s this money coming from?”

As the supposed brains of his own outfit, Madigan should have known that payments create a trail, and that a trail can always be followed. Hell, even Watergate’s Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein to “follow the money.”

Madigan was really lousy as a mob boss.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois brought out its 22-count indictment of Michael (“I’m not the target of anything”) Madigan.

In July 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Exelon Corp. and Commonwealth Edison Company, which served as Madigan’s political patronage machine for close to a decade. The DPA refers to Madigan as “Public Official A,” and includes messages from people in his corrupt network that refer to Madigan as “Himself” or “Our Friend.” It seems like Madigan was more popular among the federal prosecutors than he thought. In exchange for bribes to or for the benefit of Madigan, ComEd and Exelon ensured the passage of legislation favorable to them, and hindered or prevented legislation Exelon didn’t like.

If we could delve into the inner recesses of Madigan’s mind, we’d find that his Id, Ego, and Superego are all composed of one thing: a driving ambition to be the Second Coming of Richard J Daley. Madigan’s father and Daley the Elder became friends when both held political patronage jobs in the Cook County Clerk’s Office. Using political patronage, Daley the Elder went on to build one of the most powerful political machines that any American city had ever seen. During old Mayor Daley’s tenure, parts of Chicago’s government, like the Department of Streets and Sanitation, were turned into political patronage machines that Richard J. Daley used to provide jobs for his supporters.

One of old Mayor Daley’s chief precepts, which Madigan was later to adopt as his guiding principle, was to help your friends and either punish or co-opt your enemies. To Madigan, Daley the Elder had achieved what he considered political Nirvana: a world in which everybody both depended on you and was afraid of you.

But Old Man Daley passed away in 1976, and in 1983 the Shakman Decree ended Chicago city government’s role as a perpetual patronage machine.

Madigan’s alternative was to use ComEd and Exelon as a way to create a new political patronage machine and do an end run around the Shakman Decree. For Exelon and ComEd it was a match made in, well, maybe not heaven. As the DPA showed, bribery and corruption are integral components of Exelon’s business model: the utility parasite and the political parasite established a symbiotic relationship.

Over the next few weeks we’ll go further into the specific chapter and verse of the legislative benefits that Exelon and ComEd obtained at the expense of Illinois ratepayers. Nothing in the 22-count Madigan indictment revises the amount of bribes that Madigan directly or indirectly received: about $1.3 Million. We’ll tally up the economic benefits that Exelon and ComEd obtained from these illegal payments, and see how they balance out.

But Madigan and the Illinois legislature comprise just one sphere of influence. We’ll also take a look at how Madigan’s malignant principles have metastasized throughout the Illinois courts — an area the U.S. Attorney’s Office might be interested in. The General Assembly and the Illinois courts are the two poles between which the Madigan supremacy oscillated for nearly a half century. Within the courts Madigan’s fingerprints are harder to see, but it must be borne in mind that, whether Madigan was acting at one or the other of these poles, it was the Madigan supremacy still. His control was absolute and coordinate.

Read Full Post »

Constellation NewEnergy’s Third Party Investigator

The At Issue program on WBBM Newsradio (on Audacy) interviews Richard Dent, NFL Hall of Famer and MVP of Superbowl XX, concerning his legal battle with Constellation NewEnergy.

Also on the interview is Dr. Charles Steele, President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization once led by Dr. Martin Luther King.

Constellation NewEnergy Terminates Dent’s Contracts and the Legal Battle

In 2018, Constellation NewEnergy terminated its energy contracts with Dent when two unnamed persons accused him of sex harassment and improper conduct. Constellation refused to disclose the names of the persons who had made these defamatory statements.

In 2019, we filed a Rule 224 presuit discovery petition in the Cook County Circuit Court to compel Constellation to disclose the names of Dent’s accusers. (Dent et al. v. Constellation NewEnergy et al., 2019 L 002910). Constellation filed a motion to dismiss the petition for failure to state a claim under Illinois Civil Procedure Code Section 2-615. When a defendant in a civil suit files a 2-615 motion, black letter Illinois law requires the court to accept as true, for purposes of that motion, all of the well-pled facts alleged in the complaint or petition.

In Dent’s case, though, the Circuit Court judge ignored the facts pled in Dent’s 224 petition and accepted as true facts that Constellation improperly added in its 2-615 motion. For example, Constellation NewEnergy refused to disclose to Dent the name of its third-party investigator, and that is exactly what Dent’s Rule 224 petition alleges. However, in a flagrant departure from the duties of a court in a 2-615 motion, the Circuit Court held that Constellation NewEnergy had disclosed the identity of the investigator.

During oral argument before the Circuit Court in July 2019, the trial judge agreed with me that Dent’s 224 petition was not a “fishing expedition.” (Dent et al v Constellation NewEnergy et al, 2019 L 002910, Transcript of Proceedings, July 19, 2019, at pg. 4, line 4 to pg. 4, line 20). Despite this, the Circuit Court denied Dent’s 224 petition on the basis of a case that prohibited the use of that rule for “fishing expeditions.” (Low Cost Movers v. Craigslist, Inc., 2015 IL App (1st) 143955). Low Cost Movers was neither relevant nor applicable to Dent’s petition, and neither Dent nor Constellation had cited it in briefing on the 2-615 motion.

Constellation NewEnergy told Dent, and the 224 Petition alleged, that it was going to terminate all of Dent’s contracts because of the allegations that had been made against him. Yet the Circuit Court held that the cause in fact and proximate cause of Constellation’s termination of Dent’s contracts was…(wait for it…wait for it…)…Constellation’s termination of Dent’s contracts. Yes, you read that right. (Dent et al v Constellation NewEnergy et al, 2019 L 002910, Memorandum Opinion and Order, July 31, 2019, pgs. 2-3). In the Cook County Circuit Court’s hands, cause and effect became fungible commodities. If I knew a first semester law student who committed so puerile a logical fallacy I would recommend (gently, of course) serious consideration of an alternative career.

We appealed this ruling to the First District Court of Appeals. In November 2020 the Illinois Appellate Court, without requiring oral argument, reversed the Circuit Court on grounds of abuse of discretion and held that Rule 224 was indeed the appropriate procedure for Dent’s case. (Dent et al. v. Constellation NewEnergy, Inc. et al., 2020 IL App (1st) 191652, 175 NE3d 742).

Constellation then filed a petition for leave to appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court, which that court granted in March 2021. The case was argued before the Illinois Supreme Court on September 22, 2021. You may replay the oral argument here:

Constellation NewEnergy’s Private Eye

In public statements Constellation NewEnergy claims that the allegations against Dent were “confirmed by an independent third party investigator.” That is their chief defense. But Constellation’s own allegations tell a different story.

At about 5:45 p.m. on July 10, 2018, Dent arrived at the JW Marriott Hotel at 151 W. Adams Street in Chicago, where Constellation NewEnergy had arranged for its golfing guests to collect passes and other items for their golf outing the following day. Constellation claims that an unnamed man, Person B, observed Dent at the JW Marriott, and Person B alleged that Dent was “drunk and disorderly” at that place and time.

After collecting his items for the golf outing, Dent drove from the JW Marriott to the Shedd Aquarium, at 1200 South Lake Shore Drive. As the crow flies, the JW Marriott is about 1.6 miles from the Shedd Aquarium. Dent arrived at the Shedd Aquarium at or about 6:30 p.m. on July 10, 2018.

Constellation NewEnergy’s pre-golf cocktail reception, where they alleged that Dent physically groped an unnamed woman (Person A), was held on the Shedd Aquarium’s patio. That patio is an open space overlooking Lake Michigan.

More than 100 people were at Constellation NewEnergy’s party at the Shedd Aquarium patio.

Dent had invited Sam Cunningham, the Mayor of Waukegan, to the Constellation NewEnergy cocktail party. Constellation knew that Dent had invited the Mayor of Waukegan to their cocktail party as his guest. Dent and Mayor Cunningham were generally in each other’s company throughout this event.

In Chicago on July 10, 2018 the sun set at 8:28:31 p.m. Dent left the Constellation party at about 8:00 p.m., about a half hour before sunset.

Constellation NewEnergy claims that the allegations against Dent were confirmed by a third-party investigator. This is more than curious because the alleged groping incident occurred on the patio of the Shedd Aquarium, an open space, in front of a crowd of more than 100 people, and in daylight. Yet the only person who Constellation NewEnergy claims witnessed this alleged groping is Person B – the unnamed man who was inside the JW Marriott Hotel — 1.6 miles away.

According to Constellation NewEnergy’s allegations, not one person – not one – who was at the Shedd Aquarium patio on the evening of July 10, 2018 witnessed any alleged groping by Dent.

According to Constellation NewEnergy’s allegations, Dent would have had to drive through downtown Chicago traffic, during the weekday evening rush hour, in a drunken condition, to get from the JW Marriott to the Shedd Aquarium. At these times the CPD usually keeps an eye out for drunk drivers, especially after “happy hours.” Dent was not stopped for any reason as he drove from the JW Marriott to the Shedd Aquarium.

According to Constellation NewEnergy’s allegations, Dent would still have been drunk at the Shedd Aquarium cocktail party, which immediately followed his visit to the JW Marriott. Dent was at Constellation NewEnergy’s cocktail party at the Shedd Aquarium for about an hour an a half. Yet Constellation NewEnergy does not allege, and has not presented any witness who has alleged, that Dent was drunk at the Shedd Aquarium event.

Though Constellation NewEnergy knew that the Mayor of Waukegan was Dent’s guest at the Shedd Aquarium party that evening, its supposed third-party investigator never called the Mayor of Waukegan to ask if he saw anything.

Based on Constellation NewEnergy’s own allegations, Person B, their supposed eyewitness, was not even at the Shedd Aquarium when the groping incident is alleged to have occurred. Rather, he was inside the JW Marriott Hotel at 151 West Adams Street.

The Witness to the Alleged Groping Had X-Ray Vision

As a kid I used to watch reruns of The Adventures of Superman (1952-1958) starring George Reeves as Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter for The Daily Planet newspaper. In that TV series, X-ray vision was one of Superman’s superpowers. Constellation NewEnergy’s independent third party investigator believes that Person B, their supposed eyewitness to the alleged groping, had X-ray vision better than Superman’s since Person B could see through 1.6 miles’ worth of concrete and steel buildings, all the way from 151 West Adams Street to 1200 South Lake Shore Drive.

Constellation’s Person B can see through tall buildings.

That’s quite a trick.

Constellation NewEnergy’s claim that it had an independent third-party investigator confirm the accusers’ allegations is inexpressibly ridiculous. Constellation refused to name its supposed investigator, perhaps to spare him or her being imprinted with a mark of indelible ridicule by having to explain how their only witness to the alleged groping saw everything through 1.6 miles’ worth of steel, concrete and downtown Chicago buildings.

Whoever Constellation’s investigator was, they make Inspector Clouseau look like Sherlock Holmes.

Read Full Post »

 

The_Leopard

Burt Lancaster in the role of Don Fabrizio in the film The Leopard (1963)

These times remind me of the words of Don Fabrizio toward the end of Lampedusa’s novel The Leopard:

“Se vogliamo che le cose restino come sono, le cose dovranno cambiare.” (“If we want things to stay as they are, everything will have to change.”)

Read Full Post »

Today’s  Chicago Sun-Times discusses the Exelon Bail-Out Bill.

What began as a means of rewarding Exelon Corp. for generating “clean” nuclear energy and  keeping unprofitable plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities open has evolved into a far-reaching and  contentious revamp of state energy policy.

Check out the article here.

Read Full Post »

M.W. Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer

M.W. Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer

This past Tuesday (Jan. 26), Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced that Illinois will invest more than $220 million in emerging tech companies, which he predicted will create an estimated 3,600 jobs over the the next three years. In an article in the current issue of Crain’s Chicago Business, Treasurer Frerichs is quoted as saying:

People ask how can you afford to make these investments at a time like this? I ask, how can you afford not to make these investments?”

In the mind of any thinking person, alarms should go off whenever someone answers a question with a question, and this goes double for public office holders such as Mr. Frerichs.

The real questions are why anyone should consider state government capable of picking winners among high-tech venture startups, and, more importantly, whether state government should be using public funds to pick winners in the first place.

Over the course of decades past, there have been some notable successes of government (principally federal, rather than state) sponsorship of R&D. After WWII, the U.S. Gov’t. sponsored research into turbine engines for use in jet fighter planes, including using what was valuable in jet engine technology Germany had developed during the war. Likewise, post-war federal investment in computer research for defense purposes started the computer revolution and gave us the internet that we have today.

But those are the success stories. Did Mr. Frerichs and everyone else at Crain’s forget about that Solyndra investment? Sure, it was an investment at the federal rather than the state level, but that’s a quibble. Loan guarantees for Solyndra are in essence no different from the $220 million in taxpayer funds that Illinois is about to plow into tech start-up ventures.

Plus, the feds get to play with much bigger chunks of change than the $220 million that Mr. Frerichs is talking about, which means that they have better odds of having at least a few successful companies amidst all the tech startups that wind up in the dustbin of market history.

According to the Treasurer’s press release, the $220 million “will come from existing investments and is not entangled in the state budget impasse that involves the General Revenue Fund.” Is that supposed to take a load off our minds? Could that money not be used for other, more pressing needs?

Frerichs asks how Illinois can not make such investments. Well, for starters, it’s been a few years now and Illinois still doesn’t have a budget. The City of Chicago is about to impose the largest real property tax increase since Fort Dearborn was disassembled and used for firewood. The Chicago Board of Ed is staring at a funding gap in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and there’s no sign of any fiscal cavalry riding to the rescue from Fort Springfield. To make matters worse (yes, they can get worse), one may reasonably ask whether the CPS financial debacle will require yet another real property tax increase.

The only safe conclusion is: no option is off the table.

But let’s turn back to picking winners for a moment. Mr. Frerichs will be investing public moneys indirectly, in venture funds managed by supposed investment pros, and not directly in the startup companies themselves. That’s a distinction without a difference. By investing indirectly, Illinois state government merely delegates, in part, winner-picking to the fund’s managers.

If I remember correctly, the Rauner administration is of the Republican persuasion. The gospel according to the Republican patron saint, Ronald of Reagan, tells us that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” I guess that gospel doesn’t apply when government is handing out money to venture capital funds.

Having the government pick winners, whether directly or indirectly, smells a lot like “government industrial policy,” which in turn smells a lot like (dare I say it?) … socialism. (!!!)  There’s no evidence anywhere that any level of government, state or federal, is capable of picking winning technologies in the market. Sure, the turbine technology and the computer revolution were nice. But the history of “industrial policy” (the formal term for government picking winners and losers) presents an almost uniform series of abject failures. If one thinks that the state’s indirect investment of $220 million will leave the venture fund managers to pick the winners free of state government influence, I can sell you a bridge that connects Brooklyn to lower Manhattan, and it’s a genuine antique.

Remember that country, what’s the name of it again…oh, yes, Japan. Japan had its Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and we can see what a great success that was. MITI was supposed to foster innovative government/industrial partnerships for investment. Sound familiar? But even the Japanese admit that such limited growth as they’ve had came from not following, rather than following, MITI’s directions. MITI favored the development of steelmaking in Japan, and disfavored such exports as autos and electronics. Japan now has three times the steelmaking capacity that it needs, with no native natural resources (iron ore, for example) with which to feed it even if there were market demand for more steel. Meanwhile, automobiles and electronics have been Japan’s landmark successes in international trade.

State government always characterizes these taxpayer-funded venture investments as the “but for” money, the funding without which a promising project would not go forward. That’s patently false. If a project is promising enough, the private sector will fund it.

Worse still, some economists claim that when government steps in with this type of investment, it doesn’t add any money to the pot of investment funds, but instead only displaces it, and that the funding so displaced is much larger than the government funds invested. That’s a net negative.

I’d just like to hear the Republican rationalization for having government making industrial policy and having state officials pick, or influence the picking of, winners and losers in the market.

Read Full Post »

Emmanuel, Rahm

The lead article in today’s Chicago Tribune reviews the chronology of City Hall events following the shooting of Laquan McDonald in late 2014. Rahm met frequently with his top aides and Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy. Rahm expects the people of the City of Chicago to believe that no one bothered to tell him about the McDonald shooting, about the dash cam tape that gave the lie to all of the Chicago Police Department after-action reports on the shooting, or about the pressure applied to civilian witnesses to change their stories.

The thought that Rahm Emmanuel’s top aides and advisors, including a top-level attorney in the Law Department and the Chicago police superintendent, would not tell him about the McDonald shooting, that they would withhold from him information about a matter that was likely to lead to a multi-million dollar settlement payout by the  City of Chicago, is laughable on its face.

And that’s just the dollar side of the equation. The political side makes his claims of ignorance even more laughable. No one could work in any position of responsibility under Rahm Emmanuel without having a very finely-honed political sense; maybe not as fine as Rahm’s own, but certainly far above average. While the McDonald drama played out, Rahm was in an unusually close election, followed by an even more unusual run-off election against Chuy Garcia. No one working for Rahm could not know what a political bombshell this was, especially in this election year. Yet the Mayor expects us to believe that nobody told him anything substantive.

Right.

Remember, we’re not talking about just any Chicago mayor. We’re talking about Rahm Emmanuel. This is the same Rahm who cherishes and flaunts his reputation as the ass-kicker to end all ass-kicking, the same Rahm who could give lessons in micro-management to the likes of Walt Disney, Frank Perdue and Bill Marriott, each a notorious micro-manager.

What fairly leaps out of the email trail is the complete absence of Rahm’s name as an addressee. That is precisely the kind of trail a participant wishing to be viewed subsequently as a non-participant would try to establish.

One of the chief duties of Rahm’s acolytes is to keep as much distance as possible between Rahm and any scandal. If there’s a smoking gun lying around somewhere, you’d better be sure Rahm’s fingerprints aren’t on it, or you’ll be looking for a new job. If Rahm had a coat of arms with a motto, it would probably run something like this: “Honi soit qui mauvaises nouvelles ne garder pas tres loin de Rahm.” (“Evil be to him who fails to keep bad news far away from Rahm.)

Rahm apparently thinks that Chicago ought to just accept his story and get over it. (“Move  along, nothing to see here.”) It is this type of attitude that explains why outsiders like Trump and Sanders are leading in the polls in this political year.

Read Full Post »

Domesticated, at Steppenwolf through February 7, 2016

Domesticated, at Steppenwolf through February 7, 2016

Melanie Neilan plays the role of Casey, the daughter of a scandal-plagued politician, in Steppenwolf’s Domesticated. The synopsis:

Politician Bill Pulver faces the cameras to stumble his way through a carefully crafted apology as his wife Judy stands stoically behind him…. but what is she REALLY thinking? We are about to find out in Bruce Norris’s wickedly funny, unpredictable play about a marriage burst apart by a sex scandal. This scathing, wildly entertaining play investigates gender politics, modern marriage and the sexual mysteries of the animal kingdom.

Melanie Neilan, as Casey in Steppenwolf's Domesticated.

Melanie Neilan, as Casey in Steppenwolf’s Domesticated.

 

Tom Irwin as Bill Pulver, with his daughters, Cassidy (Emily Chang, left) and Casey (Melanie Neilan)

Tom Irwin as Bill Pulver, with his daughters, Cassidy (Emily Chang, left) and Casey (Melanie Neilan)

 

Mary Beth Fisher, Meg Thalken and Melanie Neilan in Steppenwolf's Domesticated

Mary Beth Fisher, Meg Thalken and Melanie Neilan in Steppenwolf’s Domesticated

“This is, for sure, a very juicy play, a savvy discussion-starter,” Chicago Tribune 

Domesticated is as funny and grotesque as we know Norris can be,” Chicago Critic 

“…a sensational cast of 14, “Domesticated” puts a more diverse 21st century twist on Edward Albee’s emasculating “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” Chicago Sun Times

Check out the trailers here.

Read Full Post »

Emmanuel, Rahm

When a dashcam of po-lice brutality
Displayed clear CPD typicality
The cops said, with aplomb,
And with backup from Rahm,
The cop acted with pro-portionality

Rahm said “Bad, but not institutional.”
Yet his “Sorry!” was circumlocutional:
“It is quite a pity,
“But don’t blame the City;
“Sixteen shots are quite constitutional.”

But the dashcam proved too big a bombshell.
And the masses thronged Casa Emanu-el,
Shouting “Rahm, read our lip!
Ist kaput* Mayorship!”
“So pack up and leave office pellmell!”

But Rahm had another design,
For blame to fast reassign.
“If you crawl back in your beds,
“I’ll call in the Feds,
“But don’t pressure me to resign!”

[Kaput, Ger. for utterly finished, destroyed.]

If you care to add a stanza, please feel free to comment.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »